So you didn’t get the No. 1 overall pick in your 2023 fantasy football draft. And you know what, that’s just fine.
As I wrote in my strategy guide for picking first overall, there isn’t a clear-cut No. 1 overall player in fantasy drafts this season. That means there’s a decent chance you could get your top player with the second overall pick, which is always a win.
Similar to the 1.01, you’ll have to navigate long wait times between picks, which requires a bit more strategy than picking in the middle of your draft.
It’s also important to practice using mock drafts. There’s no better way to do that than using our FREE mock draft simulator!
In this piece, I’ll walk you through making the most of the second overall selection.
- Draft Pick Advice & Strategy: 1.01
- More Fantasy Football Advice
- Snake Draft Pick Strategy: Early | Middle | Late
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator
How to Draft from the 1.02 Position in 2023 Fantasy Football Drafts
Go big, go bold, go Bijan Robinson at No. 2?
While I don’t think he’s the consensus top pick in drafts this summer, Christian McCaffrey is the No. 1 player in our Expert Consensus Rankings. And for the purpose of this article, it’s safe to assume that he’ll be off the board when you come on the clock at the 1.02.
Drafting Robinson in the first round, let alone No. 2 overall, is an enormous risk-reward proposition. Robinson is widely regarded as a tremendous tailback prospect. He was drafted into an offense that needed a running back, with Tyler Allgeier racking up a 1,000-yard rushing performance last season. But drafting Robinson hinges upon your tolerance for buying into a player we’ve never seen on an NFL field. If the upside is worth the risk to you, I tip my cap. But I’ll probably opt for a more known commodity with the second overall choice.
As for my pick at the No. 2 overall, I’m taking Barkley in standard and half-PPR formats. In a full PPR, I’d take Ekeler because of his pass catching abilities. But Barkley had a great bounce-back season in 2022 and the Giants offense should improve in year two with Brian Daboll. Is injury a risk? Definitely. That’s the case with every running back though. The ultra-safe play is Jefferson, but I don’t love options available at running back by the time my next pick comes around.
How to handle your first three picks
As I mentioned above, I’m most likely taking a running back with my first round pick because the position lacks depth. In the second round, the tailbacks most often available were Breece Hall and Travis Etienne. And while I would love either of those guys as my RB2, I’m a little nervous about making them the lead back on my fantasy team.
That being said, I tend to go RB-WR-RB with my first three picks, especially if Garrett Wilson is still available at 2.11. With Aaron Rodgers in New York, I suspect Wilson could go off in his second season. If Wilson’s off the board, I’m fine taking Hall or Etienne as my RB2, then picking Jaylen Waddle or Tee Higgins as my WR1 in the third round.
If I do start RB-WR, I’m happy to get Kenneth Walker as my RB2 with my third pick. Walker is another second-year player I’m high on entering 2023, and while Zach Charbonnet could factor into the backfield, I’m confident Walker will be the featured back in what could be a very good Seattle offense.
Strategy tip: Keep a close eye on whoever’s picking first overall
I always recommend keeping close tabs on your league mates throughout the draft. But when I’m picking second overall, I pay particularly close attention to the needs of the person picking first overall. In a snake draft, that person will have consecutive picks and is capable of derailing your plans.
Before you make your pick at the bottom of each round, take a quick glance at that person’s roster to get a sense of where they could be going with their next two selections. If you’re deciding between a running back or a wide receiver with your pick and notice that the person drafting next has a void at running back, you might be better off taking the back.
When picking second, it’s critical to stay one step ahead of whoever’s picking first. Adapting to the board is key when you have a long gap between picks.
When to consider a quarterback
My strategy for taking a quarterback doesn’t differ much whether I’m picking first or second. Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence are my targets this season, so I’m fine with taking either at 6.11 or 7.02, depending on whether the person drafting from the first spot has taken their QB or not.
If you prefer to wait on quarterback, I’d say picks 8.11 or 9.02 would be the latest you could hold out given the long break between picks.
Example Draft for Picking 1.02
Below is a sample draft I conducted picking second overall that you can use as a guide. For what it’s worth, the Draft Wizard gave it an B+ grade.
- Pick 1.02: Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)
- Pick 2.11: Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ)
- Pick 3.02: Kenneth Walker (RB – SEA)
- Pick 4.11: DJ.Moore (WR – CHI)
- Pick 5.02: Drake London (WR – ATL)
- Pick 6.11: Justin Herbert (QB – LAC)
- Pick 7.02: Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)
- Pick 8.11: Gabe Davis (WR – BUF)
- Pick 9.02: Brandin Cooks (WR – DAL)
- Pick 10.11: Evan Engram (TE – JAX)
- Pick 11.02: Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF)
- Pick 12.11: Jaylen Warren (RB – PIT)
- Pick 13.02: Romeo Doubs (WR – GB)
- Pick 14.11: Israel Abanikanda (RB – NYJ)
- Pick 15.02: Dallas Cowboys D/ST
- Pick 16.11: Jason Sanders (K – MIA)